Posted April 9, 2012 by Talia Tuckerton in Hair and Beauty

2012 Nail Design Fashion Trending to Crackle Designs

Crackle nail polish designs are the current rage across almost all age groups during 2011 and 2012. Although they have been around for over 10 years, the trend died out a few years ago as the formulas on the market at that time were not that great – the crackle polish wouldn’t create unique and interesting patterns, and the polish would chip and not really adhere well to your nails and the underlying base coat. Furthermore, the way these older polishes would crack or shatter would be clumpy and inconsistent in terms of tiny as well as very wide cracks, and often the cracked areas of the polish would have noticeable edges around them.

That all changed in 2010 and leading into 2011 when major polish brands released brand new crackle polish formulations that performed extremely well. Today a high quality crackle nail polish will run about 8-9 dollars, and brands like OPI Crackle Nail Polish and China Glaze are frequently cited as 2 of the top crackle polishes. If you tried the older generation of crackle nail polish previously, forget all of your assumptions around how bad that experience was and start fresh – the technology as changed!

Today’s crackle nail polishes come in a wide variety of colors, and combined with the color of the underlying base coat can create an almost infinite number of very beautiful designs. Furthermore, each design is completely unique as the crackles that form as the polish dries are totally random – not only will your nails not look like anyone elses, but each nail will even have a distinctive pattern of cracks where the base color shows through.

No special tools are needed for crackle polish – it literally applies straight out of the bottle just like any other polish. it also doesn’t take any longer to dry than a normal quality nail polish, and you don’t have to purchase or be in a salon with special ultraviolet or infrared lights. The finishing process is fun to watch as the crackle polish dries and you start seeing the shattered effect take form in real time!

The combination of colors and resulting design are almost infinite. Many women start with a purple base coat and apply something like OPI’s black shatter polish on top, which creates a fascinating purple and black design. Other combinations that are good to try the first time are a gold/black combination or switching it to black base and a gold crackle. Black and silver also are becoming increasingly popular on the nightclub scene given how they look under strobe lights!

Thanks to very advanced formulas for metallic polish, you can combine the newest metallic (aka glitter) colors as a base coat, and then overlay a quality crackle polish. This results in truly stunning shimmering nail designs that seem to dance under the night lights. Be careful, however, to ensure the glitter polish is completely dry before adding the crackle polish on top!

If you ran out and purchased crackle polish from your local drugstore before reaching this point in the article, you’re likely ready to give up already on crackle designs. This is one area where you need to spend the extra few bucks and get a quality brand like China Glaze or OPI, as there is a difference in formulas and results compared to lower end brands you find in the drugstore or department store. It will make the difference between a nice design that lasts 2 weeks or longer, versus a gloppy looking mess that chips after 4 days.

Be creative with your designs, and do not be afraid to try different color combinations between the base coat and the crackle coat. If you don’t like it after the first nail is done you can always clean it off with polish remover and try another. You can get a sense as to how your design will look when it dries by using the cool nail design tool on the OPI web site – you pick the colors you want, even your general skin tone, and it instantly paints the nails on a very realistic looking hand. This is a great way to play around with different looks ahead of even purchasing any polish.

Once you’re done and excited by the look on your fingers, look down at your feet. How cool would it be to mirror that same design in open toed sandals? Some top designers even experiment with reversing the colors between the base and crackle coat when going from fingers to toes – really causes an optical illusion effect on people! Whatever you do, be bold and experiment.

Wait – you’re not done are you? Want to see the latest and expanded set of designs around crackle polish for your nails? Or simply see more cool nail polish trends from Talia?

Talia Tuckerton